The story of Jay Notley is one of many similar stories of unfulfilled potential.
During his four seasons with the club, Notley made 102 appearances, scoring 20 goals from midfield.
His best season was the 2000-1 campaign, where under Tommy Lee, he helped saved the club from relegation after a disastrous start to the season.
His debut came on the 15th of January 2000, a 2-1 victory over Chertsey Town, and his final game was on the 3rd of March 2003, under Danny Honeyball.
However, the story of Jay Notley far extends his time at Leyton Pennant.
Notley was an incredibly talented footballer, and spent his youth development at Charlton Athletic.
However, in November 1996, after a loan spell at Daghenham and Redbridge, Notley “tested positive for a cocktail of drugs, including cocaine, cannabis and Ecstasy.”
He was charged with misconduct by the F.A., and was immediately suspended by the club.
During the same period, Dean Chandler and Lee Bowyer also tested positive, but their offences were considered less severe, and given counselling.
Then-Charlton manager Alan Curbishley said at the time: “Jay has not featured in the first team and barely played for the reserves here. He has lost his way on the field lately as well as off it. Perhaps that is connected, I don’t know. It is going to be a tough couple of months for him.”
At an F.A. hearing, Notley admitted the charge and was ordered to undergo a three month rehabilitation and counselling programme.
However, despite these attempts, Notley winded up playing non-league football for a host of local clubs, who could have perhaps been a bit more lenient with his extra-curricular activities.
Source: The Independent (26-11-96)